The European Union and Fishing Subsidies

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September, 2011

The world’s oceans are nearing irreversible collapse. Most of the world’s fisheries are fully exploited or facing overexploitation and depletion. In Europe, the oceans are equally in crisis. Only a minority of commercially fished stocks have been assessed or are managed. Of the fish stocks that have been scientifically assessed, the majority are overfished. An increasing number of marine species are threatened, with some nearing extinction.

The European Union fishing industry receives a significant amount of government subsidies. These subsidies have promoted the massive overcapacity of European fishing fleets. The European fishing fleet is now two to three times greater than what is needed to fish sustainably.

This report attempts to provide an as complete as possible overview on the sources and amounts of subsidies available to the European Union fishing sector for the most recent year available. The paper also provides a country-by-country analysis and evaluation of subsidy intensity as an indicator of economic performance.

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Fish Catch by EU Countries in 2009 (Source: FAO)

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